Stewart looking to regain momentum at Dallas Supercross. PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- It would be hard for any rider to live up to the kind of hype that has surrounded James Stewart in his rookie season. To his credit the 16-year-old Floridian has done...
Stewart looking to regain momentum at Dallas Supercross.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- It would be hard for any rider to live up to the kind of hype that has surrounded James Stewart in his rookie season. To his credit the 16-year-old Floridian has done a remarkable job living up to the expectations of a rider who was the most celebrated and watched racer in AMA amateur racing history, not to mention the fact that he is now being called by the national media as the Tiger Woods of motorsports.
Despite all of the pressure on Stewart, the Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki rider has been able to focus on his racing and leads the AMA 125 West Region Supercross standings coming into Saturday's, April 20, AMA EA Sports Supercross Series race at Texas Stadium in the Dallas suburb of Irving.
Stewart hopes to get back on track in the Lone Star State. After a solid start in which he earned two wins and two second-place finishes, Stewart has suffered a couple of tough races in the two most recent rounds of the series finishing 10th in Anaheim, Calif., and 11th in Houston after crashing in both races. Stewart broke the two outside toes on his right foot in practice for Houston, but has had almost a month to heal. He should be mended enough to race this weekend, but whether or not he'll be up to full speed remains to be seen.
Stewart's recent spate of bad luck has given his competition the chance to make the championship race interesting with just two rounds -- Dallas and Salt Lake City -- remaining in the series. After the Phoenix round in late January, Stewart had built a 25-point lead in the 125 West standings. That lead has dwindled to just 10 points over Amsoil Honda's Travis Preston (115-105). Boost Mobile Yamaha's Ivan Tedesco is also very much in contention sitting third with 100 points.
While Stewart faces a challenging road to his first title, his friend and fellow Floridian Ricky Carmichael has stretched his lead to 24 points (281-257) over David Vuillemin in the 250 class. Carmichael's six-race winning streak came to an end last weekend in Pontiac, Michigan, but he still turned in one of the best races of the season despite finishing second. The defending champ crashed hard on the sixth lap of the 20-lap final in the Silverdome. He was able to pick up his battered Honda and charge all the way back to second, even though the visor of his helmet had broken in the fall and was dangling in front of his face partially obscuring his vision.
Vuillemin now realistically has a very slim chance of catching Carmichael in the championship chase with just three rounds remaining on the schedule, but anything can happen in the fast-paced and unpredictable action of AMA Supercross racing.
Ezra Lusk and Jeremy McGrath join Carmichael as former winners at Texas Stadium. The two are locked in a great battle over third in the standings. With a third in Pontiac last week McGrath moved ahead of Lusk in the series. It marks the highest ranking so far this year for McGrath, the seven-time AMA Supercross champ.
Nate Ramsey hopes to keep the momentum going after breaking through to win his first 250 Supercross race last week. Ramsey became the fourth winner in the series with his Pontiac victory joining Carmichael, Vuillemin and Mike LaRocco (who will miss Dallas due to injury) in the win column.
AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for professional motorcycle sport in the United States. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Texas Stadium, Irving TX
SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 2002
9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Rider registration and Tech Inspection at the Venue
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Bonus Awards Participant/Mechanic registration at the Venue
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Rider Track Walk
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Junior Supercross Riders Meeting (Mandatory)
12:00 noon - 12:15 p.m. - Riders Meeting (Mandatory)
12:15 p.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Junior Supercross Practice
12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. - 125cc Practice
1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. - 250cc Practice
2:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. - Track Maintenance
2:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - 125cc Practice
3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. - 250cc Practice
3:45 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. - Qualifying Heats
5:30 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. - Junior Supercross Practice
5:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. - Track Maintenance
7:00 p.m. - 7:20 p.m. - Opening Ceremonies
7:30 p.m. - 7:40 p.m. - 125cc Heat #1 - 6 laps - 20 riders (1st - 9th to Main)
7:40 p.m. - 7:50 p.m. - 125cc Heat #2 - 6 laps - 20 riders (1st - 9th to Main)
7:50 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - 250cc Heat #1 - 8 laps - 20 riders (1st - 4th to Main) (5th - 20th to Semi 1) 8:00 p.m. - 8:10 p.m. - 250cc Heat #2 - 8 laps - 20 riders (1st - 4th to Main) (5th - 20th to Semi 2) 8:10 p.m. - 8:25 p.m. - Junior Supercross Exhibition- 3 laps - 15 riders 8:25 p.m. - 8:35 p.m. - Track Maintenance (10 minutes) 8:35 p.m. - 8:40 p.m. - 125cc Last Chance Qualifier - 4 laps - 22 riders (1st - 4th to Main) 8:40 p.m. - 8:50 p.m. - 250cc Semi #1 - 6 laps - 16 riders (1st - 5th to Main) (6th - 16th to LCQ) 8:50 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - 250cc Semi #2 - 6 laps - 16 riders (1st - 5th to Main) (6th - 16th to LCQ)
9:00 p.m. - 9:10 p.m. - Track Maintenance/ EA Sports Challenge Main
9:10 p.m. - 9:20 p.m. - 250cc Last Chance Qualifier - 6 laps - 22 riders- (1st & 2nd to main)
9:20 p.m. - 9:25 p.m. - 125cc Rider's Parade Lap
9:25 p.m. - 9:45 p.m. - 125cc Main Event - 15 laps - 22 riders
9:50 p.m. - 9:55 p.m. - 250cc Rider's Parade Lap
9:55 p.m. - 10:15 p.m. - 250cc Main Event - 20 laps- 20 riders